Main Aim and Lord Shanakill are vying to be bookmakers' favourite for today's feature race at Haydock, the 7f Timeform Jury Stakes. Connections are expecting another strong performance from Main Aim following a promising third place on his seasonal debut at York this month. Teddy Grimthorpe, racing manager to owner-breeder Khalid Abdullah, said yesterday "He ran on really well in the last 100 yards atYork." "He won this race really well last year and hopefully he will put in another strong performance."
Ladbroke and William Hill offered odds of 11/4 this morning on last year's winner but cannot decide on a clear favourite. Both bookmakers also offered 11/4 Lord Shanakill who ran a good third to Paco Boy on his seasonal appearance in the Lockinge Stakes. This competitive 9 runner race is better known as The John of Gaunt Stakes and also features Lovelace who is seeking a hat-trick of wins today.
Meanwhile a gamble developed yesterday on next Saturday's Investec Derby. It was announced that jockey Johnny Murtagh will not decide on his mount for the Classic until the middle of next week, fuelling speculation that he may decide to ride recent Gallinule Stakes winner, Jan Vermeer. With rumours of a poor work out from the longstanding Derby favourite, St Nicholas Abbey, the betting odds on Jan Vermeer shortened yesterday to as little as 5/2.
Bookmakers, Ladbroke and Totesport offered 3/1 for Jan Vermeer this morning, the horse was available at odds of 16/1 just a week ago.